I wasn't going to post anything for today's link party at Blog Hoppin' because I've only been teaching for five years and I guess I don't feel like I've been teaching long enough to be a veteran teacher who should be offering advice, but then today happened.
Today was the second day of school with my kinders and just before 2:00 with my students practicing how we keep manipulatives on our math mats, I heard this really loud noise. We have a first grade class on the floor above mine and I thought at first they were moving furniture or stomping on the ground. Then I realized the room was moving. Just as I was about to tell the kids to get under the tables because I was hoping it was just an earthquake and not something worse (being just outside of DC will make you slightly wary of loud noises) everything stopped.
I was scared and by the looks on the kids faces...they were pretty scared too. My principal came over the loudspeaker immediately and said to stay in place. With knees shaking I had to put on my big girl panties and carry on. The kids took my lead and we finished up the day without too much fuss.
So if I could give any advice it would be that your students take their cues from you. If you are stressed and panicked then they will pick up on that. If you can remain calm, especially in an emergency situation, then things will go much smoother.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring. This has already started out as a crazy school year. I'm really ready for routines to be established!